Neuroscience

The Neuroscience minor provides students with an introduction to the foundations of neuroscience, a discipline which focuses on the study of the nervous system from a range of levels. Study of the nervous system is a relatively new discipline, and discoveries in this area have great promise to illuminate the roots of our mental experience, and to provide the tools to preserve and reverse the effects of injury and disease. While only one of several major organ systems in the body, the nervous system is very complicated and critical to our identity. Neuroscience is fundamentally interdisciplinary, and draws on techniques from diverse fields including biology, psychology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and philosophy. The courses included in the Neuroscience minor focus on the fundamentals of the biology and function of the nervous system.  The minor is open to any major, and should be of interest to students with professional interests in the biomedical or health sciences. The courses included in the minor focus on the organization and function of the nervous system, from the specializations of single neurons and glia to the function of large networks of neurons which support movement, memory, emotion, and more.

Requirements for the Minor

Introductory
NSC-204Principles of Neuroscience1
Biology
BIO-212Cell Biology1
300 level Elective
NSC-332Research in Sensation and PerceptionyResearch in Sensation & Perception0.5
or NSC-333 Research in Behavioral Neuroscience
Capstone
NSC-400Senior Capstone0
Electives2.5
Organismal Physiology
Sensation and Perception
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuropsychology
Total Credits5

Additional Course Work

It is recommended that students interested in pursuing neuroscience at the graduate level also complete Organic Chemistry I (CHE 221).  Additional coursework in physics and math may be considered.  Students should consult with an advisor in Neuroscience on their particular paths.

NSC-204 Principles of Neuroscience

An introduction to the study of the nervous system, with a focus on basic anatomy and physiology. Students will learn about the basic organization of the nervous system, neurophysiology, sensory processing, movement, development, and neuroplasticity through a systems approach to brain function. Several laboratory experiences will be built into the course to reinforce the principles discussed in class. This course counts toward distribution credit in Natural Science and Mathematics. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Natural Science/Mathematics

NSC-287 Special Problems


Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

NSC-310 Special Topics

Various topics at the advanced level may be offered from time to time. Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for topics and descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

NSC-332 Research in Sensation and PerceptionyResearch in Sensation & Perception

In this course, students will conduct experiments involving at least two sensory systems, obtaining experience with psychophysical experimental methods. Students will write complete APA-style scientific papers for each experiment, including a clearly stated hypothesis, a brief literature review, a clear explanation of the methodology, application of the proper statistical techniques, an analysis of how the results supported or failed to support the hypothesis, and an abstract summarizing the experimental findings. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: Prereq PSY-232
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

NSC-333 Research in Behavioral Neuroscience

Students in this course will become involved with research in an area of behavioral neuroscience. The topic covered will reflect contemporary research issues in the field and may differ in different years. Major course components will be discussion of primary literature in neuroscience and collaboration with the professor in conducting and writing up an experiment that is directed toward possible publication. Recent topics have focused on memory and drug addiction, and how neural recordings are used to understand how information is encoded by the brain. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: PSY-233
Credits: 0.5
Distribution: Behavioral Science

NSC-400 Senior Capstone

Students will enroll in the fall semester of the senior year and meet with the instructors approximately once every two weeks for journal article discussions focused on seminal publications in neuroscience.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0

Karen Gunther

Neil Schmitzer-Torbert

Heidi Walsh (Chair)